SBD/January 11, 2017/Franchises

Ravens Considering Raising Ticket Prices For First Time Since '13 Despite Missing Playoffs

An announcement by the Ravens is expected by the end of this month
The Ravens are considering "raising ticket prices" for the first time since '13, according to Joshua Gordon of the BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Ravens President Dick Cass at the team's year-end press conference yesterday said that nearly $120M is being "invested in upgrades at M&T Bank Stadium over the next two and half a years and that will factor into the decision whether to raise ticket prices." Cass added that the Ravens were in the "bottom half of NFL teams in terms of prices last season." An announcement is "expected by the end of January or beginning of February." Gordon noted the last increase "came following the team's Super Bowl." Cass said, "We have only raised prices once in the last eight (years). Since we have last raised prices we have spent about $45 million in improving the stadium and over the next two and a half years we are going to spend" an additional $120M. If ticket prices are "indeed raised, the question becomes whether fans continue to attend home games if the product on the field is not a winning one," as the Ravens have missed the playoffs two consecutive seasons. Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti said that season-ticket renewals are "always" between 97-99%, but he "knows there is a lot of disappointment and anger from the fans this winter" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 1/10). In Baltimore, Edward Lee writes despite weekly sellouts, Ravens attendance "lagged this season." Raiders and Redskins fans were a "visible presence at games on Oct. 2 and 9, respectively," and when the Eagles "visited on Dec. 18, quite a few seats were empty" (Baltimore SUN, 1/11).

HARD STANCE: The SUN's Lee reports Bisciotti "renewed the organization's position against choosing players with histories of violence against women." The Ravens' restraint "stems from its own history" with former RB Ray Rice. Bisciotti said, "There are some people that we’re going to take off our board that do real well in the league. That’s just the way it goes. Categorically, yeah, domestic abuse, we’re not taking them." Ravens Exec VP & GM Ozzie Newsome said that the team’s brain trust must "weigh the risks of selecting a player with character issues." Newsome: "I don’t think we are afraid of character guys. But we want guys that No. 1, love to play football, that are going to be here on time and hopefully not getting in trouble when they leave" (Baltimore SUN, 1/11).
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